Passengers and crew on two commercial jets helped locate a missing yachtsman off Australia by looking through the windows with binoculars.
An Air Canada jet and an Air New Zealand aircraft swooped down to 1,219m to assist rescuers in the search for the solo yachtsman who had activated his emergency beacon.
His remote location was out of helicopter range so rescuers asked the planes’ pilots to get involved as they were flying over the yacht’s GPS position.
According to Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, one passenger wrote on Facebook, “15 hour flight ends up being 17 hours as we descended to 1,219m to locate a capsized yacht for search and rescue.”
“Amazing, and slightly off putting, to see what a Boeing 777 aircraft can do when not on autopilot and flying/circling low over the ocean.”
Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the crew and a number of passengers onboard flight AC033 to Sydney from Vancouver spotted the boat and advised authorities of its location.